From news you can use to finds you might love, click through our picks from the week online.
Being grandma Susan Sarandon co-stars as a hard-drinking grandmother to Melissa McCarthy in the comedy “Tammy,” opening July 4. Time magazine talked to her about constructing the grandma role and the difference between aging Hollywood style and in real life (Sarandon is also about to become a real grandmother). Read the article.
Get smart AC for free Summer is heating up and metro area energy companies around the country are gearing up for usage spikes. To guard against outages, some – including NYC – have opted into a program that offers customers free SmartAC kits made by ThinkEco that let you control your AC from anywhere using a smartphone; you also get a $25 thankyou card at the end of the summer. In exchange, you have to agree to let your utility company raise your temperature by a few degrees during peak times. Click here to read about CoolNYC or ask your local utility.
Being older can make you a better social media user Think you’re too old to tweet? Money mag says that idea is just wrong: If you can send an email, you can use social media, and if you have a lifetime of experience in the workplace, you’re going to be better at using it in your professional life than some young twerp. Click here to read why it’s important to use the right social media if you plan to keep working and get five tips for how to use it strategically.
Back into the closet As men and women who came out as gay and lesbian grow older, many are being forced back into the closet because of the fear of being mistreated in nursing homes (many have been) and by carers at home, as well as not being accepted by homophobic peers. Regardless, some continue to campaign for gay rights. Britain’s Channel 4 tells a few of their stories. Click here to read the article and see more videos; watch Rowena’s story below.
Best for the brain: quilting or crosswords? And the answer is… quilting! That is, according to recent research: Study participants between the ages of 60 and 90 were divided into groups; some were given packets of structured activities – informative magazines, word and crossword puzzles, classical music – while others learned quilting and/or professional photography software. The result is good news for anyone who agrees that learning new skills is also a good way to stay happy. Read more on Marketwatch.com.
Smoker? The NIS has launched a new online resource for older smokers who want to quit. “Quitting Smoking for Older Adults” includes tips, videos and other tools that are based on an understanding of the special challenges would-be-quitters face who’ve been smoking for decades. Click here to access.
NYPL to loan wifi The NYC and Chicago public library systems are about to start lending out wifi hotspots longterm to eligible computer owners who lack broadband access. It’s unclear at this point whether seniors are included in the program, which is targeted primarily at schoolkids. Click here to read more.
You’ve probably heard that Facebook is under fire for an experiment in which it secretly manipulated information on users’ home pages to see if negative or positive posts affect our emotional states. (The findings point to “mood contagion.”) The Guardian has an excellent article on the controversy.
If you’ve been thinking that Florida is a has-been for retirees, apparently you’re wrong: While fewer people relocated there in the wake of the housing bust, things have picked up again and the state’s median age keeps ticking up. But there’s a difference. Those leafy suburban retirement communities are no longer popular, and these days retirees are more likely to want to live close to cultural attractions and in multigenerational communities. Click here to read more.
And finally… A follow up to a piece we ran some time ago about Dr. Mehmet Oz’s advice; back in January 2013 we cited a Slate.com critique of Dr. Oz‘s recommendations, especially in light of the fact that Oz was chief scientific adviser for RealAge.com (O’s company has since bought that website). Well, last month John Oliver skewered Oz in a segment of his TV show Last Week Tonight, and that video has since gone viral on YouTube. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look – even if you take issue with Oliver’s stance, you might agree the man is funny. And the segment raises real questions about how far you can trust popular media to deliver accurate info. (Read about reliable sources here.)
- The Wall Street Journal has pointers on how to keep your muscles from wasting as you age.
- The Supreme Court ruled that cellphones are private and can’t be searched without a warrant. The ruling is likely to extend to all forms of digital information.
- New software can spot rare genetic diseases by scanning family photographs.